It’s been a mad past few weeks for music hacks and creative coding. Here are my top hacks of the month…



Moto: the Kinect Music Experience

We’ve seen lots of Kinect hacks involving dancing in front of Microsoft’s magic camera. But few as fully-featured as this one. Virtual instruments, sample selection, voice control: nice!


Ask Keith

A great site where the Rolling Stones legend replied to fans’ questions with Soundcloud. Although not necessarily a hack, I thought i was worth a mention, as it is using something (soundcloud) to do something it wasn’t necessarily meant to do. A very clever way to communicate directly and effectively with fans. Above is his answer to the question “Is there any song you’d like to do over again?”.




Center of Attention at the Sonos Studio

This amazing installation at the Sonos Studio in LA allows any users to create music just by interacting with strings handing from the ceiling. Kitchen string, not instrument string!



Legalize it!

This was my stand-out hack from the Music Hack Day held in Barcelona, held recently at Sonar. It shows you what tunes are trending – illegally – on BitTorrent, then gives you the ability to play them legally, within Spotify.


Spotify Radio

Staying with Spotify – though this is more of a dev than a hack – this week’s announcement of free streaming in iOS with Spotify Radio was quite a biggie, as it puts the service in direct competition with Pandora in the US… the only territory it works without a Premium subscription for now. Spotify will as such have its work cut out in the US: but with the service’s promised non-Premium rollout elsewhere (“over time, subject to licensing”, says the statement), where Pandora isn’t (Europe, for example…), Spotify Radio will be a killer app.


Syd Lawrence is a music-specialised developer, and notably took part in midem’s 2012 Music Hack Day. Find out more about his work via his agency’s site,

Photo: Taken by the Echo Nest’s Paul Lamere, at last midem hack day 🙂

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